STD Testing Specialist
STDs can be easily spread from one person to another, especially in their early stages when symptoms may not be present. Regular STD testing at Northwest Women’s Center in Houston, TX, helps ensure diseases are caught early so women can enjoy better health and prevent continued transmission of infection.
STD Testing Q & A
What happens during STD testing?
STD testing can be performed using different techniques depending on the symptoms. If a routine exam reveals sores or other abnormal areas or a Pap test or HPV test yields abnormal results, testing may be performed using a minimally-invasive exam called a colposcopy that uses a magnifying scope to identify areas of abnormal tissue inside the vaginal canal and on the cervix. These areas can be sampled or biopsied and examined more closely under a microscope to determine if an infection is present. Other times, blood tests or urinalysis may be ordered to test for the presence of specific germs in the blood or urine. At Northwest Women’s Center, we use state-of-the-art testing technology and processes for fast, accurate and confidential results.
How can I tell if I need to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease?
Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health recommend all sexually-active people have STD testing performed annually, and every three to six months for those who engage in risky sexual activity. STDs can be difficult to detect, especially in their early stages when they may cause few or no noticeable symptoms. That means not only can an infection progress to a more serious stage that may be more difficult to treat, but it’s also easy to spread disease unknowingly to another person. Being tested for STDs on a regular basis is important for the patient’s own health as well as for the health of the patient’s partners.
How are STDs treated?
Most STDs can be treated and eradicated using medications. The type of medication and the duration of treatment will depend on the type of infection that’s present, how far the disease has progressed and other factors like the patient’s own health. Some STDs like herpes and HIV cannot be cured, but they can be managed with ongoing treatment.
How soon after having sex can I be tested for an STD?
Usually, it takes a few weeks for the germs to reach a level where they can be accurately assessed using blood tests or other testing. Patients who have engaged in risky sex or who simply want to be tested should call the office to inquire about optimal scheduling.